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Old 05-03-2011, 02:12 AM   #1
Exploring the northwest..
 
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Hello all!

My wife and I thought we'd introduce ourselves. We're in our early 30's, living in Seattle WA. We're originally from Canada, but have lived in the area for about ten years. Now that we have kids (3 yrs and "brand new") we want to start camping exploring as a family. We are looking for a trailer to use as an all-season camper, and for occasional surf trips to Vancouver Island.

History: I've always wanted an Airstream of my own.. My parents and grandparents both owned Airstream dealerships in the 70s, and I spent many childhood years on the road in every size and shape of Airstream and Argosy. My Dad's winter home was a Spartan Manor in the Arizona desert. So I suppose you could say it's in my blood!

Although it would be fun to drive off the lot with a new Eddie Bauer, I think only a vintage trailer will scratch the itch. Problem is we don't have the space or time to do any serious tinkering ourselves. And with babies on board we don't want to find any surprises, or have to contend with major repairs on the road.. So we are looking for a full restoration - ideally done by an enthusiast who wants to put an heirloom Airstream back in the game for another 50+ years. Maybe an airforums expert moving on to the next project?

Here's the dream list: '64-'66 Trade Wind Twin, full restoration with 100% solid frame, floors, and all new running gear. Skin/wraps repaired, new window/door seals and no leaks, mold, or funny smells. Twin beds, canvas bunks, and hopefully an original mahogony interior. Restored bath, new or restored black water tank and pan. Newer heat, water heater, pump, low profile ac, fridge, etc. Bonus: Conversion of front goucho to a wrap-around dinette that folds into a large bed - and maybe a grey water tank snuck in there somewhere. Why a Trade Wind? Seems like the smallest coach that fits our needs: We like twins in the back for kids as they get older, love the option for the canvas bunks for their friends (or soaked tenters), and we really want to be able to separate/darken a room for the kids and still have access to the kitchen and the master bed. I also like the fiberglass tub and shower of that era.

As an example, flyfshr's Trade Wind seems absolutely perfect. If we were to restore one ourselves, we'd pretty much copy what they've done: Brad and Julie's 1959 Airstream Trade Wind

I've spent a few months reading these forums now, and getting educated on history, construction, towing safety, etc. (Tow vehicle is a Touareg TDI.) My plan is to check classifieds here, and on craigslist and ebay obsessively for the foreseeable future. :-) We know it's likely going to be a long wait, so we're prepared to buy something in the meantime.. So we drove up to Anacortes last week, met a really nice guy who is selling a fleet of Airstreams, and put an offer on a 19" Bambi - hopefully that comes through.

Anyhow, thanks for reading.. We look forward to any tips and suggestions from forum members, and especially from neighbors in the northwest. See you on the road!

-Scott & Deb
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:41 AM   #2
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There is one on ebay in Yakima WA.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:04 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Good luck in your search for that perfect Airstream.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums - and I hope the search is as much fun as will be the finding.

Pat
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:42 AM   #5
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Hey there from Kirkland! We just started Airstreaming in February and love it. I was going mention the Yakima one too. I don't know vintage at all but looked kinda cool to me. Good luck in the search, let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Here is the link. It's a '69 though.

Beautifully restored 1969 Airstream Tradewind | eBay
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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Hi and welcome. The e-bay trailer looks lovely. With 2 kids you may want to consider something a bit larger than a 19 foot trailer. Those kids are gonna grow....
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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The Anacortes 2004 Bambi looks great too, love the int color on that model. Is that the one you put an offer on? Spokane Airstream had a 2005 for 30k and Portland has a 2008 that they'll probably sell for 38k or less.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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19 ft.

I think if I were you and had not purchased anything yet, I would definitely look for something a little bigger. A 19 ft. AS is just a wee bit too small for a family with two little kiddos who will eventually be bigger kids. We have a 1978 Airstream Argosy 6.7m. which is on the smaller size and I would be hesitant to put a family of 4 in there. Just sayin'....... Maybe better to shop a little bigger for room to grow.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
Exploring the northwest..
 
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Thanks for the replies and the welcomes! - yep, we've put an offer on that 2004 CCD Bambi. We both recognize it is not a long term solution, but will certainly get us out the door and camping this season. I'd hope that it wouldn't be too hard to resell since it is a recent example in fine shape.

The 1969 on eBay is really nice. It is being sold by goransons who are very active on this forum, which is a huge plus. This trailer was the topic of a long talk over coffee yesterday, actually: We were concerned that the layout lacked a separate sleeping area, which would not allow for naps or early bedtimes on rainy/cold days. Then again, the separation on the Bambi is really for privacy only.. No sound isolation, and in the summer, there would probably still be light leaking in from the windows anyway. A double bed vs. twins is not that big of a deal - the kids can share.

I'm a bit torn.. We plan on using the trailer for sleeping, cooking, and for shelter when it's cold and rainy. Should we care there is no separate sleeping area? Any advice from those who have traveled with young kids?

The Yakima trailer has two huge (queen) beds - which is very cool..
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:29 PM   #11
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Most smaller coaches we've seen with kids had a nice tent outside for the little dears, everyone seemed to enjoy their own space.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:22 PM   #12
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rainy days

I say, if you can afford to upgrade to a larger unit now, then start out with a larger one. Prices probably will not go down. And it is wonderful to have separate sleeping "quarters" or an area to adjourn to when the whole crowd has to be inside "the house"...or for naps. But the question is..do you have a tow vehicle that is up to the larger task?
Good luck in your quest.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
Exploring the northwest..
 
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Seattle , Washington
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loudruff, sounds like you really value the separate bedroom. This echos our feeling as well..

Our maximum size is 25'-27', due to space limitations in our driveway and navigation of narrow streets around our house. The Touareg is rated for 7700lbs, but I'd rather stay well within that due to tongue weight and overall TV/trailer balance.

The Yakima 1969 Trade Wind sold already, so I didn't get on it fast enough. Oh well, the search continues!
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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bedroom space

We have passed our Argosy on to our daughter. She can pull the small Minuet with her Ford Explorer.
We upgraded to a 31' Excella (1989). The sleeping arrangements are perfect for us. It has a wonderful bedroom in the back. Accordion fold door across to separate from the middle area. Also the bathroom door opens and folds open to create an extra wall across the hallway area. Like having extra space in the bathroom for a dressing area. It also walls off the area from the living space if you need to. The front of the trailer has a couch that flips the back over and makes into a double bed. We can have guests bunk in and still have privacy in the back. The bathroom is in the middle. That means that we have a little more capacity in our tanks...fresh water, gray and black tanks being larger.
Watch the classifieds and happy shopping!
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